Great Life Withholds Specific Buffalo Recipe Dog Foods


April 30, 2013 – Great Life Performance Pet Products has notified its distributors to request they withhold certain products from sale to consumers.

According to the company, the action is being taken because some packages are “not reaching full expiration date” as suggested by the presence of an unexplained odor.

The affected dog food products include:

  • Great Life Grain Free Buffalo
  • Dr. E’s Grain Free Buffalo

In its letter, Great Life assures distributors recent lab tests have found their Grain Free Buffalo products “free of Salmonella, E. coli, toxins, micro-toxins, etc.”.

Our Opinion

Although Great Life is investigating the cause of the problem, it’s important to note the company has not yet technically classified its action “a recall”.

However, it’s always possible some of the affected product may have already made its way to end users.

Since the company has not yet determined the actual cause of the odor, we feel compelled to make consumers aware of the situation and suggest they monitor the developing story closely.

What to Do?

You can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to

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  • Pattyvaughn

    This particular withholding of product was for dry only, but I would never use their canned because it is made by Evangers. They have a pretty nasty reputation for some disgusting business practices as well as some illegal ones. Check out the links on the Great Life canned thread.

  • Lisa

    Hi all,

    So to get back on topic here…… I feed my dogs great life canned along with a couple other brands & buffalo is one of them! I sure wish I would have seen this before now, Crap!
    The crazy thing is the last 2 cases I bought I noticed a couple new issues. 1 case looked like the cans had rust around the lids , so I returned the case. The second case I saw no rust but for the 1st time I noticed that after opening the can, the food nearest the lid is kind of brownish while the middle is the regular reddish brown.
    Darn! I liked this canned food, well my pups like it. However they wouldn’t have anything to do w/the dry kibble in this line. It had a very weird chemical smell to me when I opened the bag as we’ll.

    For the person who posted about “the taste of the wild”, I also had an experience similar to yours. I used to get the canned w/the yellow label until a few months back when I started noticing a rotten smell as soon as I opened the can, not the usual non pungent regular canned food smell. I asked the place I got it from if they had anyone else notice this but they weren’t sure.

    Glad I read this! Now I’m anxious to know if there have been any recent updates on great life and although posted in the wrong thread, the taste of the wild too.
    The article didn’t specify if the recall was for dry, canned or both & if buffalo was/is the only one w/issues.

    Thanks for the info!!in

  • Pattyvaughn

    Maybe you should post this on the Taste of the Wild canned thread.

  • Judy Taylor

    I have was just going to feed by dog a can of Taste of the Wild Wild Bison. It had a rotten smell as in spoiled food. I opened a different flavor and it seemed ok. The bad smelling can was “Taste of the Wild” P3DHP2044A with a best by date of Feb 04 2015 07:50. Has anyone else had this problem? (I threw it out). Will try their website and let you know the results


    It means the Chicken is air dried. Chicken is 80% water. So listing Chicken as the first ingredient based on weight is misleading because of the water content.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi ralphmclovin –

    Yes – I do feel that Victor’s Grain-Free Ultra Pro is a better kibble than Canine Caviar. However, Canine Caviar is by no means a bad food. Rather than sticking to one brand you could rotate between the two or, better yet, pick out some more high protein/low carbohydrate foods to rotate in. It’s great that you’re looking for a high protein food for your seniors, many people don’t don’t realize that senior dogs actually need more protein than adult dogs and make the mistake of feeding low-fat, carbohydrate-laden foods marketed toward senior dogs.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Since you already rotate, don’t think of it as either/or think of it as and/and. Feed your dog CC and try Victor Ultra Pro and maybe keep looking for something else to rotate in too.

  • ralphmclovin

    hi, do you think the victor gf ultra pro (with its labeled 17% carbs) is a better choice than gf canine caviar?`

    My dogs went from yrs of pedigree to 1 yr of canidae, and are now on canine caviar, and they are doing great on the cc(i rotate thru the flavs), but carbs and starch are concerning me as my dogs are 10 and 11 and dont need all those empty calories.


  • To Whom It May Concern,

    Certain comments from this thread were deemed by the moderator to have been posted in direct violation of our commenting policy – and have this been removed.

    Unfortunately, to maintain the context of every discussion, the Disqus platform automatically removes all comments that are linked by thread with those deleted by the moderator.

    I’m sorry for any inconvenience this may cause our readers.

  • Pattyvaughn

    No problem, James has already labeled me a liar and a nut job. And as I said, it turns out that regardless of the quality or lack there of in Tyson chicken, Brothers doesn’t get it anymore so any arguement about the supposed quality of Brothers that includes the Tyson arguement is invalid right from the start. So I’m giving it a rest.

  • Hi Pattyvaughn,

    Just wanted to let you know I did locate Richard Darlington’s email to me dated 5/24/2012. And it included a copy of the Tyson’s spec sheet as he stated on the thread. I had only recently switched to a different email client. Sorry it took me so long to find it.

  • Shawna

    I’m sorry you took my post as talking down to you.. It wasn’t intended as such but my frustration must have got the best of me. I apologize.

    I have mentioned the below before, here on DFA, in a conversation I had with Toxed about beef processing.

    My husband is an electrician. He spent 12 years of his life working at various Tyson plants in the Nebraska/Iowa area. I just asked him is any of those plants processed chicken. He said the plant in Council Bluffs, Iowa did (if not still does) but that most chicken processing is “done in the southern states”.

    I asked him what happened to the cancerous etc tissue. He said they were sent to the rendering plant “to be used as fertilizer” (both onsite and off site rendering plants).

    I asked him what facilities Tyson supplied to “mainly large grocers”. I asked him where he thought the products used for pet consumption came from “most likely the miss cuts. They are perfectly fine but were miss cut and not pretty enough for people to purchase”.

    It is REALLY sad that we are so obsessed with appearance that miss cut, but perfectly edible, meats or ugly but healthful produce is rejected for our consumption…. 🙁

    Anyway, I’m certain that there isn’t enough miss cuts to fill the need but between the miss cuts and the parts not needed by grocers there may be enough to fill the need esp when added to the boney backs etc. I really have to assume that if really poor quality products were used someone would have blown a whistle by now? I may be being naïve though.

  • Mostly it proves that you really don’t know what you are talking about when it comes to the chicken meal that brothers uses!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Probably not, I am human, but that isn’t the conversation I remember at all, so I could be putting more than one conversation together, because I have had so many of them. As I said before, the information is totally outdated now anyway. Have fun with that.
    Yeah, the Brothers thread is down, up, down, up. I’m afraid I can’t keep track. So it’s down now, huh. Thanks for the info.
    Nice use of bold, I’m sure that really proves your point. Well, it proves something.

  • Sorry monkey, I’m done now

  • Hi Patty

    First the Brother’s review I was referring to IS shut down:

    Second, here is the actual post you are referring to by Richard Darlington

    Richard Darlington, Manufacturers of Brothers Complete

    “In the hopes of putting this discussion to bed with SOME SEMBLANCE of reality I have typed the product report exactly as I got from Tyson Foods regarding the Chicken Meal that we use in Brothers. Notice the “maximum” is not 20% ash but is actually 15% ash. I tried to copy/paste it but it wouldn’t work. I will send a copy of the specs to Dr.Sagman to confirm that what I have (laboriously) typed here is indeed exactly what I received.”

    So there it is patty, the actual post and the closed down thread where it was posted.

    Are you done now posting incorrect information?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Why would they be collecting chicken parts from resturants that never got them in the first place? Have you ever heard of Chick-Fil-A? They don’t get whole chickens and cut off the breasts. They get boneless breasts, nothing else. Have you heard of McDonalds? I don’t actually know what their “chicken” is made of, but they claim it is chicken white meat. Why would they bother to buy the rest of the chicken, if they know they are not going to use it. There are several chain resturants that have chicken breast this or that, that don’t have anything dark meat anywhere on the menu.

  • monkey

    Good story bro. You’re quickly becoming annoying. Tyson chicken isn’t
    the best quality? Of course, they’re the largest chicken supplier.

  • Pattyvaughn

    The spec sheet I was refering to showed that Tyson made a chicken meal that had a different protein content than the ones that some other troll was reporting as the only chicken meals that Tyson made. That was what made it proof that Tyson made other chicken meals besides the ones that were being reported AS THE ONLY ONES.
    Gee, last I looked the Brothers thread wasn’t shut down, again.
    Again. What is your problem?

  • Please don’t talk down to me I understand you perfectly. I just don’t agree with you.

    ALL of the random pieces of chicken you speak about and all of the leftovers from all the restaurants you refer to NEVER make it in to a one hundred thousand pound batch of chicken meal.

    Do you think that a chicken meal manufacturer begins collecting small batches of leftover chicken parts from restaurants and butchers until they have accumulated 400,000 pounds or so of parts?

    I do not care what you feed your dogs every day and I am certainly not calling Steve from Natures Logic a liar.

    Maybe he has the same mistaken idea of what really goes into chicken meal as you do.

  • The spec sheet you are referring to only showed that the ASH content of the batch of Tyson’s chicken meal that Brother’s was currently using was a little lower than the spec sheet on their website.

    Stop passing on second hand information and take a look for yourself. The information is still right there in the Brother’s review thread that is now shut down.

  • You forgot that those chicken backs you mentioned are not:

    Cooked, then ground, then have the fat separated from the solids, then are pressed, and finally are preserved.

    So I thank you for showing us that the quality of Tyson’s chicken meal is even lower than if they used 100% chicken frames!

  • You said:

    “One question- why are you so obsessed with discrediting Brother’s? I would think that pretty much all pet grade chicken is the same, probably from only a few different sources.”

    I agree with you 100%.

    ALL pet food manufacturers probably use the same not fit for a dog meat meals.

    The reason I mention Brother’s Complete when I talk about Tyson’s chicken meal is because Richard Darlington once said that Brother’s uses that brand of chicken meal.

    No other manufacturer I have contacted will reveal which meat meals they use. Because if they did then people would start to realize that the meat meals used in their dogs foods are not fit for any animal to consume

    Then when someone actually researched Tyson’s chicken meal it was shown what a low grade product it really was and the “stories started to appear trying to confuse the facts.

  • Pattyvaughn

    What can I say? I’m not the owner of the company so Richard doesn’t have to check with me before Brothers makes a business decision. But when I email him with my concerns, he emails me right back with answers. My story was only proven false by me, because I found out the information I was providing was no longer up to date. Richard says he did send the spec sheet to Dr Mike. At the time that statement was originally made, Dr Mike took actions that would be considered consistent with receiving that info. I personally can’t say if Dr Mike doesn’t recall because he has forgotten or because it didn’t happen. I wasn’t on either end of that email.
    So what’s your problem?

  • First you say that Brothers uses custom chicken meals and that Richard sent the proof to Dr Mike.

    Now that your story has been proven false you have a new story.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Richard says it was a spec sheet from Tysons.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Boy, you were right about one thing. It was misinformation. Only because Brothers isn’t using Tyson anymore. So have fun with that. Face it James, you have an unusual fixation on Brothers. It really says nothing about Brothers, but it says a lot about you.

  • Shawna

    Let me try one more time —- It’s only “trash” because there weren’t sufficient orders for that cut of meat this ordering period. Next ordering cycle grocer A may want 20 breasts and 20 legs so no legs will become “trash”.

    Raisin Cain was just one example. As a family we don’t eat ANYTHING but breasts. Grocer A, B and D also may very likely sell considerably more breasts than thighs.. Look at the big picture not just my one example.

    Again, I may be wrong and Scott may have been fibbing but you haven’t proven otherwise so I have no reason to call Scott a liar.. Sorry…

    I will agree that the quality is going to vary from batch to batch as one batch. I will also agree that chicken meal is not the same quality as chicken (due to extra processing). But until you can legitimatly prove that there is a concern I’m not going to completely stop feeding my dogs every food with named meals in it (like Orijen, Nature’s Variety etc).

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I can get 50 lb. cases of chicken frames from my wholesaler for $0.40/lb (from human-grade chickens) so I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to assume a pet food manufacturer purchasing by the ton can get chicken frames from chickens raised for human consumption for $0.12 lb.

  • LabsRawesome

    I really don’t think anyone is diluted enough to think that dog food grade chicken is grade A high quality meat like human grade chicken. Obviously dog food grade chicken is what’s left over after all the good cuts have been taken for us humans. For this reason, I supplement my dogs pet grade food with human grade meat, fish, and eggs.

  • Hi Patty,

    When you responded to me with the same misinformation on the forum thread:

    I provided you with the proof and the contact information of a representative at Tyson Animal Nutrition so that you or anyone else could verify the fact that Tyson does not make custom chicken meals, period.

    Dr Sagman has also responded to your claim that “Richard sent Dr mike the proof”

    “I don’t recall Richard ever sending me any “proof” of this nature.”

    I don’t know what else to say. I apologize if this information is upsetting you.


  • Pattyvaughn

    Thanks Mike,
    It is something Richard said on one of the Brothers threads months ago. I believe the story was that he sent you a copy of an envoice or guaranteed analysis or something from Tyson that showed what the protein level in his chicken meal is and that it didn’t match what was being reported as the only meals that Tyson makes. And right after that you told some trollish behaving people to give it a rest, so I assumed since you didn’t call him out on it, that it was true. Sorry if I am mistaken.

  • Hi Patty,

    For the record and with all due respect, I feel compelled to add I don’t recall Richard ever sending me any “proof” of this nature.

  • Hi Shawna.

    You said

    “1. Both HDM and I did answer but either you missed or didn’t like the responses. If the food is otherwise going to be wasted, I’m sure they sell it at a nicely reduced price versus taking to the trash. And HDM noted that other than chicken meal, they can use by-products which would surely lower the cost.”

    as an answer to this question:

    How can a chicken meal where each pound is made from 4 pounds of chicken that are heavily processed, sell for only 45 cents a pound and still be considered a “Quality” source of animal protein?

    So you consider food that would otherwise go “to the trash” a quality source of animal protein?

    As far as HDM is concerned, her response “other than chicken meal” does not have anything to do with my question which is about “chicken meal”

    Chicken meal sells in twenty thousand pound lots. It takes eighty thousand pounds of chicken to make twenty thousand pounds of chicken meal.

    I am sorry but I don’t think that the extra chicken from the restaurant Raisin Cain and the 40 legs and 80 thighs that Scott from Nature’s Logic spoke ever find their way into a 20,000 pound shipment of chicken meal.

    In any event I want to thank you for responding to me. Let’s just say we disagree about the quality of chicken meal.

  • Shawna

    PS — Been a while since I looked at that chart and obviously remembered it incorrectly. I really thought there was more than one meal on it but you are correct. Thanks for pointing that out…

  • Shawna

    Hi James — two things

    1. Both HDM and I did answer but either you missed or didn’t like the responses. If the food is otherwise going to be wasted, I’m sure they sell it at a nicely reduced price versus taking to the trash. And HDM noted that other than chicken meal, they can use by-products which would surely lower the cost.

    I was thinking over the weekend — Raisin Cain is a chicken resteraunt that sells nothing but chicken breast strips. And they do a LOT of business.. Breasts are the most popular meat from a chicken. What happens to all the thighs, legs, wings etc from the chickens those breasts came from? Dog and cat food? My guess is yes but I really don’t know.

    2. I was looking up “pink slime” yesterday and the source I was reading said that BPI, Tyson and Cargill produce and sell most of the product. The source, Wiki, says it was used in pet foods before being allowed in human foods. With all the uproar about it in people foods I’m guessing it is going back to mainly being used in pet and animal feeds. Beef, obviously, is the only protein source that this would be a concern in but my guess is it is in most beef products that are not organic. 🙁

    I’m quite certain that it is these same fatty trimmings, used to make pink slime, that they use in many raw beef products as the fat content of some of them are ridiculously high.

    PS — I’m not defending Brothers. I don’t use the product any longer due to personal reasons having nothing to do with the quality of the food. I am saying, like HDM and others have said, that without meat meal there is NO way to get a decent amount of “animal” protein in a kibbled food and still make it affordable. Have you looked at the cost of dehydrated meat foods? Like you however, I do prefer whole meats to meals. But I also won’t offer my dogs foods below 35 or 36% protein.

  • Pattyvaughn

    It IS NOT the meal that Brothers uses. This has been gone over repeatedly and you can’t seem to take it in. Tyson does custom meals if you are ordering in quantity. The meal Brothers uses is higher in protein, not heat rendered, and uses different preservatives. Richard sent Dr Mike the proof, and Dr Mike told all of you trolls to GIVE IT A REST! Talk about something you know about instead of working so hard at making a pest of yourself.

  • Hi Shawna,

    Thank you for your kind words!

    You said:

    “If you looked at the Tyson chart you likely noticed several “chicken meal” categories with differing preservatives. I doubt they would go to the trouble of making different products if there weren’t differing qualities”

    Here is a link to the Tyson chart

    If you notice , there is only one chicken meal, the rest are chicken by-product meals.

    The one chicken meal that Tyson makes is the one that Brothers Complete uses. It is also the chicken meal I wrote about, the one that costs only 45 cents a pound.

  • Earthborn is a different company that makes their own
    food. They are not affected.

  • Hi,

    This a copy of the message that went out to the pet stores that carry Great Life in Los Angeles. It was sent by the Great Life distributor for L.A.

    “Great Life has issued a voluntary recall on all
    their Grain Free Buffalo and Dr. E’s Grain Free Buffalo. The Grain Free Buffalo has tested negative for Salmonella and toxins, but at this time they have not been able to work out why some of the product still develops a smell. Until they are able to come to a conclusion, they have recommended holding back all sales of the Great Life Grain Free Buffalo and Dr. E’s Grain Free Buffalo.

    We will be accepting returns upon your regularly scheduled deliveries. Please contact your Sales Rep with any questions.

    Lindsay Geller
    [email protected]
    6351 Yarrow Dr., Suite G
    Carlsbad, CA 92011
    Phone: 760-944-3331×103
    Direct: 760-270-9846
    Fax: 760-494-4400

  • Pattyvaughn

    Yes, but lets not let reality interfere with our daydreams too much. LOL.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I agree – I’m skeptical of Great Life saying they use air-dried meat. Look at a food like ZiwiPeak which is $13/lb. or Real Meat which is $10/lb. How would Great Life make a kibble with any significant amount of air-dried meat and sell it for around $2.35/lb?

  • Shawna

    Yep, absolutely agree with everything you say.. As mentioned, I think the amino acid profile is likely better when using both fresh and meals. But, I do like Nature’s Variety Instinct, Nature’s Logic and Brothers even though they are made exclusively with meals.. Especially if topping the kibble with fresh meats, sardines, eggs etc. 🙂

  • Hound Dog Mom

    My assumption as to why meat meals are cheaper is that named meat meals (aside from chicken meal) can contain by-products. Therefore, I would assume that named meat meals consist of predominantly by-products and bone. Judging by the levels of calcium and ash I would assume that chicken meal consists of predominantly frames after the majority of the quality muscle meat has been removed. I’m sure that unsold meats – as you stated – are utilized as well. By-products, bone and unsold meats are technically “waste” from the human food industry which explains the low cost – these are items that would just be disposed of if not used in pet food. However, because these products are waste products of the human food industry does not necessarily mean they are of low quality. If it can be verified that the meat used in a meat meal has passed USDA inspection and is therefore not coming from 4D sources, I have no issues with the fact that meat meals can contain by-products. As a fellow raw feeder, I’m sure you don’t have any issue with quality by-products either. However, I’m sure we can all agree that dogs do need protein from fresh muscle meat as well. This is why – as stated previously – I prefer a kibble (if I were to feed kibble, that is) that utilizes both fresh meat and meat meal from quality sources – this way the dog gets some fresh quality muscle meat in addition to the protein boost from the meat meal. If there was a kibble that could achieve adequate protein levels through fresh meat only, I’d highly recommend it – however I’ve yet to see a kibble do so.

  • Shawna

    I appreciate your passion about meals, I really do..

    Scott from Nature’s Logic told me this — we use the parts that are not ordered by grocers. So lets say that several grocers place their weekly order and the combined order is for 100 breasts, 60 legs and 20 thighs. The above in mind, 40 legs and 80 thighs would go to waist that week. Additionally there would likely be a good deal of necks. The quality meats as well as the necks have to go somewhere. Why not dog food?
    Maybe I’m being naive and that’s not how it works but it does make sense to me.

    If you looked at the Tyson chart you likely noticed several “chicken meal” categories with differing preservatives. I doubt they would go to the trouble of making different products if there weren’t differing qualities.

    I personally don’t like named meat meals myself as there certainly must be higher amino acid damage BUT I’d rather see that than lower protein or exorbitant prices.

    Side note—-I was not in any way involved in what happened to you on THCB. I’m sure you’ve noticed I’m no longer there myself.

  • Hi Shawna,

    I do not assume anything. The quality of the fresh meats used in pet foods is a subject I HAVE NOT researched yet. I did however research the price of various meat meals such as chicken, beef, lamb and salmon and I discovered that they all cost less than 1 dollar a pound. I then did the math:

    It takes about 4 pounds of fresh meat to make 1 pound of meat meal, then that fresh meat is ground, cooked, has the fat removed, is pressed and finally it is preserved.

    Just cooking a human grade food product adds about 1 dollar to the price of each pound. The kind of processing that meat meals go through would add even more to the price of EACH of the 4 pounds of fresh meat needed to make 1 pound of meat meal.

    Next I researched the price of whole chickens (human grade) and for the same quantities as the chicken meal is sold (20 tons) whole chickens cost about 75 cents a pound.

    So 75 cents a pound for each of the 4 pounds of fresh chicken needed to make 1 pound of chicken meal would come to 3 dollars a pound.


    1 dollar or more a pound to process each of the 4 pounds of fresh chicken needed to make 1 pound of chicken meal.

    COMES to 4 + 3 = 7, thats right seven dollars a pound minimum FOR EACH POUND of chicken meal

    Yet somehow “Quality” meat meals from USDA inspected meat cost anywhere from 45 cents to 1 dollar a pound.

    That is how I came to my conclusion that ALL meat meals are mostly made from the garbage that would normally be thrown out if it weren’t for pet foods and other animal feeds.

    And I can only imagine the horrible conditions under which meat meals are processed.

    I am as passionate or as HDM would say “obsessed” about the quality of the meat meals used in our dogs foods as you are about the dangers of lectins.

  • Shawna

    Why do you assume that all meals are from poor quality ingredients and all whole meats are from higher quality sources?

    What’s to say that “Chicken” is any less likely to be sourced from the bone whole than the products used to make chicken meal? — “Definition: Chicken is the clean combination of flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken- exclusive of feathers, heads, feet, and entrails.”

    No where does it imply that chicken is USDA inspected and passed while chicken meals have not passed. From my understanding the “Chicken” is just as likely to come from cancerous tissue etc in lower quality kibbled foods as that that might be found in lower quality foods using chicken meal.

  • LabsRawesome

    Ignore the Troll.

  • Hi HDM

    I didn’t think you could name any “Quality Meat Meals”

  • Hound Dog Mom
  • Hound Dog Mom

    Earthborn Holistic is an entirely different company. Great Life is the brand being withheld.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi James –

    I don’t know what else to say other than lol – your constant attempts to start arguments with everyone and your obsession over Tyson’s chicken meal really is quite entertaining. Thanks for the laugh. You don’t need to preach the value of minimally processed ingredients to a raw feeder. 🙂

  • Shawna

    PS — I REALLY do like the looks of the food with all the freeze dried and sprouted ingredients but I will always question the integrity of the products after that.. 🙁

    I would also note that sprouting grains, which technically are plants once sprouted, so they can say “grain free”, increases their protein content. I would guess that a reasonable amount of the overall protein amount is from the sprouted foods.

  • Shawna

    Hi James,

    Back in February 2012 a discussion was started regarding possible mislabling of Great Life foods. I shot an email off to Susan Thixton asking her suggestions on how to handle or whom to contact. Here’s data from that email.

    “Pied Piper sent Mike Sagman, the owner of Dog Food Advisor, the following statement “Pied Piper Pet Foods maintains a strict policy for food safety. We chose as a company not to keep our fresh meat supplies in house. We do this as an extra safety precaution to keep the foods we prepare from any contamination. We have highly reputable partners that air dry our fresh meats off site to help us maintain this high standard. We want to provide our customers such as Great Life Pet Products a safe and nutritious product.”

    What is unclear to those of us in this discussion is if “air dried” is, for labeling purposes, no different than whole water inclusive meats? Most of us have no problem with “air dried” meats but something just seems fishy. For me, they go to great lengths to include “freeze dried” this and that in the list but omit “air dried”. This conversation started simply because several of us wondered if the higher proteins amounts in the food could realistically be achieved when using whole meats? Doesn’t seem likely? Now the discussion has moved to attempting to determine if Great Life is purposefully being misleading about their products. In which case the entire ingredient list is suspect in my pinion.”

    Susan then suggested I contact “The chair of AAFCO’s Ingredient Definitions Committee” and provided an email address. I did contact him, Richard, and he asked for additional information. I never heard what became of the inquiry but it is interesting that Nature’s Variety and Brothers, both also made by Pied Piper, didn’t have fresh whole meats in their foods? I also notice that the crude protein is now down around 30% — seems it may have been higher back then. Either way, I wouldn’t consider 30% high or adequate, by my standards at least.

  • K.O. in Nevada

    I feed Earthborn Holistic bison, this is not being withheld?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Do you have any idea how expensive it is to dehydrate whole meats before adding them back into kibble. That’s one line I would never fall for.

  • Hi HDM

    You made this statement:

    “However, when feeding a kibble you’ll never reach adequate protein levels without including a meat meal.”

    As I have replied to you before, DEHYDRATED MEATS are a way to reach adequate protein levels without using rendered meat meals such as chicken meal.

    You also said:

    “For this reason it’s important to verify the quality of the meat used in the meat meals – that it is derived from meats that passed USDA inspection.”

    As I have also said before, Tyson’s chicken meal is derived from meats that passed USDA inspection. It is used in so called quality dog foods such as Brothers Complete. It costs 45 cents a pound.

    That means that each of the 4 pounds of USDA inspected chicken needed to make 1 pound of Tyson’s chicken meal costs less than 6 cents a pound.

    And each of those 4 pounds of USDA inspected chicken needed to make 1 pound of Tyson’s chicken meal are processed for less than 6 cents a pound.

    Is this what you call a quality product?

    If not, then can you please give me the name of a brand of dog food and the name of the brand of chicken or beef or lamb or fish meal that the dog food uses that you consider high quality?

    Otherwise you have done nothing to disprove that ALL meat meals named or otherwise are mostly made from the garbage that would normally be disposed of if it weren’t for dog food and other animal feeds.

  • Linda

    Halo is a really good food from what I’ve read

  • ptolaini

    Keri. Royal Canin changed their formulation earlier this year to include by-products. I would have to suggest that you review the ingredient panel as you may not want to be feeding by-products to you loved ones.

  • ptolaini

    Hound Dog hit the nail on the head. to say all meals are “garbage”, is yet another uneducated comment… almost as bad as TCNBC’s comment above.

  • ptolaini

    @TCNBC: That is such a false statement. You really shouldn’t be allowed to operate a computer… I seem some stupid things posted in these forums but this one is probably the most asinine comment ever.

  • autumn

    has anyone heard of halo dog food

  • Renee

    And that’s why I feed Acana Grassland never a recall….5 stars….and they inspect their facility’s and everything is home grown! No outsourcing !

  • I hope its not a full recall as this is all my dogs eat~ I went with this company due to its high standards… Remarkable results with my dogs…

  • Cate

    Oh my gosh, NO,NO,NO. Awful. Junk Food.

  • Pattyvaughn

    How do you define a recall. To me a recall is when a company tells you that their is something wrong with their food and you should not feed it, you should bring it back. This is a recall. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…
    I’m sorry, but this company is behaving in a very shady manner.

  • brad

    HI Tek Rations Premium Pet Foods have NEVER been recalled, A TRUE family owned business, own their AIB facility in Dublin, GA and have several premium foods to cater to the needs of your beloved Pets. Hi Tek rations is AIB certified facility and they make ALL THEIR PRODUCTS…..

  • TexasLady

    Buffalo is, at least to me, not a gamey meat. It is high in protein and leaner than beef.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Fromm is no doubt a great company, but their foods (concerning their grain-free line) are too low in protein, too pea heavy and overpriced for what you get.

  • CW

    No road kill in Great Life

  • Robin

    Fromms is a family owned company and been in business for decades and has not ever had one recall, i do belive raw diets are best but as a had kibble i still go with fromms 4 star foods… I sell it in my store and its my biggest seller next to raw..

  • dog allergies

    Great life is just taking a precaution this is not a recall
    According to the company, the action is being taken because some packages are “not reaching full expiration date” as suggested by the presence of an unexplained odor.
    I just started using great life Duck grain free as We have two dogs that can’t have grain or potato. Alot of the other grain and potato free food has high amounts of peas which for some breeds causes yeast issues.
    Many meat proteins do have different smells to them once processed and depending on what other ingrediants are mixed but atleast they are checking into the product vs ignoring it.

  • No….your statement: “Any pet food that contains meat is derived from road kill and euthanized pets”….is not true. Pet foods that list “meat” as an ingredient may use road kill may use road kill and euthanized pets…and I would never buy them and when these foods are donated to our pet food, food bank I throw the foods away! Pet foods that list protein as farm raised, grass fed lamb, wild salmon, free range chicken… do not contain road kill and euthanized pets.

  • I feed part Fromme (grain free) and part NRG. Both foods have never had recalls

  • Pattyvaughn

    My understanding is that whatever makes grain grain and seed seed applies here and millet is a pseudo-grain, which is to say it is not a grain but a seed. Someone will correct me if I got that messed up.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Excuse me, but eww, yuck. Have you read the ingredients? The only way I would feed it would be if I found out my dog had a very serious problem that had to have very special food, and then I’d only feed it long enough to research my other options, which might take a day or two at most.

  • Cathi Lawler

    Thank you Patty!

  • I use Nature’s Logic kibble and make my own wet. I hear its one of the top rated brands out there and have never heard of any recalls for that brand. Its grain free except for millet …

  • Keri

    Royal canine all the way!

  • Pattyvaughn

    No, it is not. They are talking about Greal Life Grain Free Buffalo and Dr. E’s Grain Free Buffalo. They are talking about actual bison meat, not a company that calls itself Blue Buffalo.

  • Cathi Lawler

    Is the product they are talking about the same thing as “blue buffalo freedom grain free”.
    I ask because I feed my dogs Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free. Please advise.

  • George Ellis


  • Pattyvaughn

    While I believe that homemade balanced raw is best, your statement that any pet food that contains meat is roadkill and euthanized pets is ridiculous. There may be some that are all those nasty things, but to imply that they all are makes your statement so far out there as to be laughable and therefore instead of getting an important message across, you are ignored as a nut.

  • TCNBC Magazine

    Any pet food that contains meat is derived from road kill and euthanized pets. The grain used is all GMO, which is why more and more pets are developing tumors. Start making your own pet food.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Fromm’s is good, but based on what, do you say “The leading best”, because while I like Fromm’s, I would still disagree.

  • Robin

    The leading best top of the line is Fromm’s…

  • Cate

    Blue Buffalo is a totally different company.

  • Jenson

    That is a myth about meals. There are meals that are not composed of trash. It depends on where that meal is made. Junk companies will use the junk, the good companies do not.

  • Jenson

    Buffalo is a gamey meat, it does have a VERY different odor to it, as does venison. It smells weird in the bag and it makes the dog’s stool smell weird too.

  • Suiki

    My puppy loves e grain free blue buffalo but we also top it with a raw dehydrated duck….

  • Rina

    I recommend purchasing from especially for lets…its all premium food.

  • tracer

    Check out SOJO’S

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Gus did fine on Go, I just used it in rotation though. Never more than one bag in a row.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Thanks you James – a very in depth discussion on this matter took place on another thread (Blue Buffalo?) recently – so you’re a little late to the party. To summarize – I’m well aware that some meat meals are of questionable quality. Meat meals can potentially contain euthanized animals and/or by-products (as defined by the AAFCO). I realize fresh protein is preferable to processed protein – which is the reason I feed raw. However, when feeding a kibble you’ll never reach adequate protein levels without including a meat meal. For this reason it’s important to verify the quality of the meat used in the meat meals – that it is derived from meats that passed USDA inspection. Both Great Life and Petcurean’s now line are much too low in protein. Concerning Now – with peas as the third ingredient and a deboned meat as the first and potato as the second, I’d have to question how much of the meager 26% protein is even coming from meat. Most meal free kibbles are too low in protein and/or rely on vegetable protein sources. I prefer a kibble composed of both fresh meat and meat meals with over 35% protein.

  • Melissaandcrew

    I have to say my crew did not do well on the petcurean line

  • Great Life contains no meat meals. ALL of Victors foods contain meat meals.

    Great Life uses dehydrated meats as a concentrated source of protein instead of meat meals.

    Meat meals ie: chicken meal, beef meal, turkey meal and so on, are mostly made from the garbage that would normally be disposed of if it weren’t for dog food and other animal feeds.

    In my forum post on “chicken meal a cost analysis”,

    I showed that chicken meal which costs about 44 to 75 cents a pound for a product where each pound of finished meal is made from about 4 pounds of chicken and then it is ground, cooked, dried, pressed and preserved and after all of that sells for 44 to 75 cents a pound, cannot by any means be a product that is fit for any animal to eat.

    Whereas dog foods like Great Life and Petcurean Now which are made from fresh (Petcurean Now) or dehydrated (Great Life) meats, contain a much higher quality of protein than any dog food that contains a “named meat meal”

    To achieve a higher level of protein in Great Life and Petcurean Now you could always add a little fresh meat.

    No matter what you do to a dog food that is made from meat meals you still have a food that is not fit for consumption.

  • Melissaandcrew

    And every dog I have fed the Ultra to has done wondrrfully.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I’ve got to agree on that! Ultra Pro sounds like a great food.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I think Victor’s grain-free formulas are much better than Great Life. Great Life’s grain-free formulas contain only 30% protein. Victor GF Active, Victor GF Joint Health and Victor GF Salmon all contain 33% protein and I think that Victors GF Ultra Pro formula – at 42% protein, 22% fat and without white potato – is arguably one of the best dry dog foods currently being made. When I fed kibble I did use Great Life occasionally in my rotation, but it’s nothing I’d feed as a sole diet due to the low protein content.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Thanks, Sandy!!

  • Victor is made by MidAmerica Pet Foods in Mt Pleasant, Tx. Merrick has plants in Tx too and Nature’s Select is made in Tx but don’t know who makes it.

  • Pattyvaughn

    If it’s made in Texas, are you sure it isn’t made at the same plant?

  • Victor is a decent food for it’s price, but I think it’s better for a dog switching from Science Diet, Purina, Beneful, etc etc.. To go from Great Life to Victor is a big step down, in my opinion.

  • Debbie

    I recommend buying Victor Dry Dog Food – Good ratings and it is made in Texas. It also is only a few $$$$ more than Pedigree, Purina, etc.